Jetting off and exploring the world is one of the biggest landmarks a couple can hit in their entire time together; wholly dependant on another, it can be the final event that brings the magic together and cements a long and happy relationship.
It can also be an incredible source of stress, anxiety and arguments that are enough to make you want to pull your own hair out. These expert-sourced tips and strategies, however, are designed to smooth over any worries or obstacles you might have and ensure a positive, healthy and fruitful time away.
It's best to try and research things to do together before your trip. You can each make a list of your top activities, this way you can both prioritize what is important for you to see or do. Researching together ahead of time may allow you to book certain excursions, or make reservations in advance so that once you get to your destination, that's one less thing to worry about!
Contributor: Alyssa Bourmeche from ojosextranjeros.com
As much as you love spending time with your partner, you do not have to spend all of your time with your partner. It is fun to have similar interests, but your interests do not have to match up perfectly. If you want to go to certain historical ruins and your partner wants to enjoy the café culture, you can both do those things - you do not have to follow each other around. Even something as simple as going through an art exhibit at different paces can make a huge difference in reducing stress and frustration and increase your enjoyment of the activity.
Yes, you're on vacation together but it is also okay to be your own person.
Contributor: Rebecca Chant from maybethisway.com
My boyfriend and I are very different. I am introvert while he is much more sociable and adventurous. Whenever we go away he is constantly suggesting things that make my insides shrivel. Initially, I rant and rave about how there is no way we’ll be doing that because it is reckless/stupid/scary but then I decide to embrace our differences and step up to the challenge. Travelling with him is constantly exasperating but he pushes me to leave my comfort zone which I never regret.
Contributor: Sheree Hooker from wingingtheworld.com
My best tip for traveling with your partner is to have a conversation about your strengths and weaknesses before you leave. I know that I don't deal well with getting lost. My wife, knowing this ahead of time, is in a better position to approach any way-finding problems pragmatically so that neither one of us has to have a break down in the middle of a busy street.
Contributor: Jennifer Riley from therainbowroute.com
As a travel photographer who relies on shooting great photos of different destinations for a living, my girlfriend is well aware that we might have to spend 20 minutes in the same spot while I get the shot I need. She’s fine with that (because she’s awesome) but if she didn’t realize that’s one of the things I’m looking for out of our trips, I could see how it would get irritating.
Contributor: Charlie Gardiner from worldoftravelphotography.com
Check in with the local CVB or destination marketing organization for the location you're visiting. The people who dedicated their professional lives to being knowledgeable of their region and promoting its best features may be able to clue you in on unique, under-the-radar things to do, from concert venues to outdoor adventures that are off the beaten path.
Contributor: James Cardis, Director of Marketing from enjoyaurora.com
Sure, much of the point of traveling with your honey is spending time together—but a little absence does make your heart grow fonder, even on a couples vacation. When my husband and I travel together, we give each other space to do a few things apart. For example, I might take longer to wander through a town's boutique stores while he heads back to our B&B, as we did recently in Astoria, Oregon; or I might take an extra-long bath while he goes disc golfing at a nearby park.
Our 10 years of happy marriage is definitely strengthened by encouraging each other's interests and hobbies—and not insisting we spend every waking moment together.
Contributor: Catherine Ryan Gregory from toandfrofam.com
Another great thing to do before a trip is create a joint travel savings. Whether you use the old fashioned coin jar, or new apps like Digit which allow you to create a joint goal. By putting aside money together, this alleviates the stress and burden of one person paying more than the other. Now, you can spend both of your money, together!
Contributor: Alyssa Bourmeche from ojosextranjeros.com
Agree to expenses - will one person pay all bills and reimburse later or is there an easy way to share on the road (ie. - I pay all travel costs of hotel, car rentals, etc. and you pay all food/drink/sightseeing).
One fun story when we went to Malta - Lidl was about to close as we arrived late on the ferry to Gozo so I had to run in and get food. I asked what do we need and my partner replied just the basics - wine, crisps, nuts and biscuits I had to laugh because we were on the same page.
Contributor: Suzanne Wolko from philatravelgirl.com
When traveling with my spouse, we utilize this precious time to get to know each other again. To help us stay focused on each other, we turn our phones off while vacationing. This gives us a chance to reconnect without any interruption. We delegate emergency contact info with our family members in case it's needed.
Contributor: Keema Brooks, CEO from @alter_ego_body_studio
Limit the amount of time you spend on transportation...For instance, when I was in Japan with my wife we spent way to much time on planes, trains, boats, tramcars, taxis, buses, etc.
All this is exhausting and makes things way to stressful. My suggestion is to pick a couple of spots that are walking distance from areas of interest. This way your spending time walking right out of your door and exploring. Transportation makes you tired and burns up time and you always feel like you're in a rush. Pick nice locations and slow down...relax. That's what trips are all about 🙂
Contributor: Kyle Maltz from dollarflightclub.com
Communication, communication, communication! It's really the secret ingredient to an awesome travel experience as a couple! Listening is key, as is being honest about your feelings and communicating them clearly. Set realistic expectations of the kind of travel experience that you're looking for together and make sure you have the research to allow for that.
Contributor: Jordan and Rose from volunteerhq.org
If you've only ever enjoyed a weekend together and suddenly you're about to embark on months of traveling, why not start off with a group tour? This way you can break yourself into the trip gently before enjoying coupledom on the open road. Hooking up with family and friends along your route can also help to refuel your relationship.
Don't over-romanticize the idea of the trip. Be kind to yourself and learn to forgive each other as arguments can and do happen - that's just a fact of life.
Contributor: Michelle Lewis from acacia-africa.com
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